Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The tangible evidence of democracy

By Nikos Xydakis

Abiding by the terms of the new bailout agreement signed between Greece and its international creditors -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- will inevitably lead to the shrinking of the Greek welfare state and sweeping changes in social structures. The historical significance of these changes is only just starting to become apparent.

The effects of the terms Greece will have to implement include the weakening of support structures and of networks protecting needy groups and a reduction in the social services and privileges afforded to the weaker members of society. This will eventually have profound consequences on all of our lives, and its toll will be much heavier than that of cuts to salaries and pensions.

The Greek welfare state was incomplete and ineffective even before the crisis hit the country. Abuse of power and inept management stunted its growth and it never reached the level of its Western European counterparts. Nevertheless, underdeveloped as it was, it had reached a point where it could guarantee the entire population free access to every level of education and healthcare. This fact alone, despite the system’s flaws, put Greece on the same level as the rest of Europe, because this represented the very spirit of postwar Europe, the tangible evidence of peace, democracy and prosperity.

The erosion of this structure of protection and consensus puts Greece outside the European equation. It removes the guarantees of social equity and the tangible evidence of democracy. Sure, this country’s citizens can survive on smaller incomes, but they certainly cannot survive as people of Europe without access to basic public services and goods when public spending as a percentage of gross domestic product falls to the same levels as that in Malaysia or Botswana.

Greece has been in a state of emergency for some time now, and it must be addressed. The people have a duty to themselves to re-evaluate their priorities with a view to the future, without, however, compromising democracy or breaking society into so many pieces that it can no longer be put back together.

Defending the equitable state, the welfare state, is the top priority, a sine qua non condition for our survival as a civilized people.

ekathimerini.com , Friday March 2, 2012 (21:48)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Traffic accidents rise 1.3 pct in August, year-on-year
The number of traffic accidents in Greece that caused death or injury rose by 1.3 percent in August this year compared to the same month in 2013, figures released by the Hellenic Statistical...
New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
An announcement regarding the new defense minister replacing recently appointed European commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos (photo) could be made on Friday, Kathimerini understands. Accordin...
Inside News
Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
Germany’s government bonds fell before a report economists said will show the euro-area inflation rate stayed near a five-year low this month. Price gains that have been less than the Europe...
Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
Cyprus could benefit from strong bank stress test results and positive economic signs to pull off an Irish-style bailout exit and make a full return to the bond market, Finance Minister Harr...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Traffic accidents rise 1.3 pct in August, year-on-year
2. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
3. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
4. Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
5. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
6. Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
3. Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
4. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
5. Traffic accidents rise 1.3 pct in August, year-on-year
6. Greek euro dilemma is back as minister predicts volatility
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.